Our Most Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is car sharing a good idea?
A: Use a car when you need it! Reserve from our fleet of well-maintained, conveniently-located cars. Use the car for as little as half an hour, up to several days.
We take care of the burden of vehicle purchase and financing, licensing, routine maintenance, repairs, insurance and fuel costs for you!
VRTUCAR members help reduce harmful emissions into the environment by over 50% per member on average by car-sharing. Every shared VRTUCAR replaces 6-8 private cars on our roads. VRTUCAR’s fleet of cars is newer, and more fuel efficient, as well.
For the community, car-sharing means cars will take up less space on streets, fostering more pedestrian-friendly and child-friendly areas in which to live. Car-sharing also provides access to a safe, reliable car for those in our community who may not be able to afford the cost of car ownership.
Q: How much does VRTUCAR cost?
A: That depends on the plan you choose, learn more by reading about our Green Driver Plans, Easy Driver Plan or Duet Driver Plan.
Each month, we send you an invoice for the time and distance driven in the previous month. You can charge your invoice to a credit card, or arrange for an automatic withdrawal from your bank account. Tax is added to the fees. Fluctuating fuel prices may cause per-kilometer rates to change.
Q: How do I arrange to use VRTUCARs?
A: You can simply log into our online reservation site - or call our 24-hour reservation line – to reserve one for the time that you need it. You pick up and return the vehicle to the same parking spot. You can book on the spur-of-the-moment, or up to 30 days in advance. Keys are available through our self-serve security system.
The busiest day of the week is Saturday, followed by Sunday. Although we usually have vehicles available, it may not be the closest vehicle to you. It is always a good idea to book as soon as you know that you want to drive.
Q: How much can I save with VRTUCAR over owning my own car?
A: How about saving almost $5,000 a year?
Based on 2014 CAA figures, the average cost of owning and operating an economy-size car, including fuel costs, financing, license, repairs, maintenance and depreciation is $5,692 per year. Compare that with the average VRTUCAR driver, who spends about $757 per year.
Q: How do I join VRTUCAR?
A: You will need:
- Class “G Ontario driver’s Licence (G1 and G2 licences are not eligible.)
- 5 years driving experience (G1 and G2 Licences count toward experience)
- 3 year Driver’s Abstract dated less than 30 days ago
- No criminal convictions under the Motor Vehicles Act
- 2 or fewer moving violations in the previous 3 years
- No speeding offences exceeding 30km over the posted limit
- No more than 3 demerit points
- No at fault accidents in the previous 3 years (5 years for drivers under 25 years of age)
- Minimum age is 21
Join Now Online!
* Our insurance company may change these criteria without notice.
Q: What about insurance?
A: VRTUCAR purchases insurance coverage for you, with All Perils (Collision and Comprehensive), Third Party Liability, Accident Benefits, Uninsured Automobile Coverage, Family Protection Endorsement and two million dollars liability.
When you are driving a VRTUCAR, you are responsible for the car during your reservation period. This is no different than if you were using your own vehicle. You are responsible for reporting to VRTUCAR, any damage to the car, however caused.
Collision Involving Injury or Damage over $1,000
A collision where someone is injured, or there is property damage or third-party damage in excess of $1,000, is a “reportable collision”. Drivers must report to VRTUCAR any accident or charge by police or their membership will be cancelled.
If you are not at fault in such an accident, (as determined by the police, or our insurance company) this usually means the other driver was charged with a violation. Any damage to the VRTUCAR would be repaired and paid by our insurance company. In this case, no fees or responsibility are applied to the VRTUCAR driver.
VRTUCAR Damage Protection Fund
All VRTUCAR drivers pay $3.95 per month Damage Protection. We use this fund to repair damage to VRTUCARs up to $500, however caused, where the police are not involved, there are no injuries, no property damage or third-party damage.
If there is damage over $500, up to $5,000 and there are no injuries, no property damage or third-party damage, VRTUCAR proposes a ‘case-by-case’ solution that is mutually agreeable to the driver and to VRTUCAR. In the event that VRTUCAR and the driver cannot reach agreement, VRTUCAR’s solution prevails.
Collision/Loss Damage Insurance with VISA or MasterCard
Another option for deductible protection while using a VRTUCAR, is the Collision/Loss Damage Insurance (CLDI) provided by some credit cards. To qualify for CLDI, the VRTUCAR driver must use that eligible credit card to pay their monthly VRTUCAR invoice. Click here to download CLDI forms.
The Experience Letter
A good driving record with VRTUCAR can qualify you for an “experience letter” from our insurance company. If you choose to leave VRTUCAR and get your own auto insurance, an experience letter could result in significant savings.
For further information about auto insurance in Ontario, please visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada website (Frequently Asked Questions) at www.ibc.ca, or to see our insurance policy.
Q: What is the VRTUCAR fuel surcharge?
A:The fuel surcharge is applied on a cost-recovery basis, as determined by volatility in fuel prices. We used $1 per litre as our benchmark.
Here is the (two-variable) formula we use:
- To determine the price of fuel:
Average price paid by VRTUCAR for fuel in the previous 3-month period
Minus our benchmark
Equals the price difference per litre
- To determine the difference per kilometer:
The price difference per litre as calculated above
Multiplied by the average fuel consumption rating for our fleet (litres/100kms.)
Equals the additional cost per 100 kilometers
We then divide this number by 100 to get the amount of the surcharge per kilometer.
- The average price per litre for a 3-month period was $1.20
- Our average fuel consumption was 8.5 litres/100 kms.
- $1.20 minus $1.00 = 20 cents, (the price per litre over our benchmark)
- 20 cents x 8.5 (litres/100 kms.) = $1.70 divided, by 100 kms., equals 1.7 cents/km.
If the price of fuel falls below the benchmark, the surcharge is not to be applied.
Q: Tell me more about car sharing with VRTUCAR!
Do I have to fill the gas tank?
If the gas level gets to 'half', it’s your turn to fill the tank using VRTUCAR’s coded fuel system. On occasion, drivers may need to pay themselves, and then the cost of the gas is deducted from their monthly bill.
What if I get a ticket or get towed?
Car sharing is about sharing the costs and access to a vehicle. It is not about sharing responsibility for infraction costs. If you get a speeding, parking or other car-related ticket, you’ll have to pay for it. If the car is towed or impounded while it is out in your name, you will have to pay for the costs incurred.
What happens if I return a car late?
VRTUCAR’s system works well because people bring the car back on time. Like a parking ticket, VRTUCAR fines drivers who are late to discourage this behaviour.
Do I have to clean the cars?
The cars are cleaned on a regular basis by VRTUCAR, but if you’ve made a mess inside the car, you’ll have to clean it. Please remember to take all your personal belongings and garbage out of the car. VRTUCAR will also reimburse you for the cost of an exterior car wash, up to $10.
Can I smoke in the car?
No, never, not ever.
Can children’s car seats be used in the cars? What about bike and roof racks?
Children's car seats and roof racks are already installed in some cars or you can use your own.
Can I bring my pet in a car?
Yes, but you must use a pet carrier where appropriate, be sure to cover the seats with a clean sheet and vacuum afterward. There should never be any sign of your pet when your trip is finished - some members experience severe allergic reactions to pet hair.
Click here to download our Pet Pledge